Israel based startup Facense is evaluating pioneering ways to collect continuous vital signs using a Smart Glass.
The idea centers on using Photoplethysmography for determining blood pressure and other vitals using cameras attached to Smart Glasses.
Their argument is that continuous monitoring with existing blood pressure monitors (e.g., cuff-based devices) is difficult, uncomfortable, and impractical to perform in real-world settings (e.g., at work, while commuting, etc.).
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Smart glasses to capture biometric data in the future?
Facense uses Smart Glasses to measure physiological signals, such as heart rate and/or blood pressure, by analyzing images captured using non-contact cameras in a technique often referred to as imaging photoplethysmography (iPPG) or remoted photoplethysmography (rPPG).
Blood flow due to a cardiac pulse causes detectible phenomena in captured images of the skin.
These changes are generally attributed to blood volume effects (light modulations due to the varying amount of blood in the measured volume) and ballistocardiography effects (e.g., movements of arteries and skin due to pulsating blood).
Image changes can be analyzed using algorithms to deduce Pulse Arrival Time (PAT), the idea being that the speed at which a pulse reaches a region is correlated with the blood pressure; the faster the pulse wave, the higher the blood pressure.
In their patent, Facense identifies different designs for this technology.
Instead of designing the entire Smart Glass, they could potentially go to market with a clip-on apparatus, that attaches to your existing glasses and provides continuous blood pressure monitoring.
This would be ideal for elderly users, who routinely use their reading glasses but are hesitant to try new gadgets and wearables.
Although recent developments around Smart glasses have focussed more on Mixed reality, there is a good chance that Smart glasses could become a wearable focussed on health monitoring use cases for consumers as well.
Most smart glass use cases in the healthcare arena have been focused on helping with telehealth.
Vuzix M300XL Smart Glasses currently enabling efficient and hands-free access to data in the workplace. It is loaded with features and apps for cost-effective operations across many industries including healthcare.
The challenge with Smart Glasses for measuring Blood Pressure and other vitals today is that it is likely to face an uphill battle as smartwatches and fitness trackers become more prevalent and acceptable.
Remote monitoring platforms that use wearable wristbands are already making inroads into various nursing facilities in the country that cater to senior and hospice patients.
With advances in Photoplethysmography on wrist-based trackers, more use cases around front line disease detection and personal disease management will gain momentum in the years to come.
What do you think? Will Smart Glasses become a key component of remote health monitoring or will they primarily be limited to A/R, V/R, and other mixed reality-based applications.